Psychology of sexual monogamy  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The psychology of sexual monogamy deals with the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of human beings in sexually monogamous relationships.

Psychological studies of sexual monogamy are sparse. Psychologists tend to be more interested in sexual non-monogamy, especially the causes and consequences of sexual infidelity.

Psychological studies of social monogamy have relied heavily on observations of married couples. These studies have identified several important topics:

  • Relationship Satisfaction Satisfaction usually declines during the first years of marriage. The decline in satisfaction may represent normal rebound, emotional erosion, and/or motivational erosion.
  • Relationship Duration Studies of people in long-lasting marriages and studies of married couples in laboratories have identified several factors that contribute to the duration of monogamous relationships.
  • Attachment Attachment, the need for physical and emotional closeness, plays an important role in many aspects of monogamous relationships. Psychologists and neuroscientists have devoted much research to understanding the processes of attachment.

Sexual Boredom

Anecdotally and academically, it has been claimed that marital satisfaction declines because parties to the marriage become bored by sex with one another, and yearn for such episodes with others. Adherents to polyamory advocate sex with multiple partners as a panacea.

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